Renewable energy policies
As a Group we are committed to lobbying for changes to government policies (at UK, Welsh and County/Park level) to enable and promote a greater reliance on meeting our future energy needs on an increasingly local and renewably generated basis.
In this regard we engage fully with the consultations and debate in recent years concerning the planning rules on the installation of so-called ‘domestic-scale’ renewable energy technology micro-generation installation. This is a fancy way of referring to things like solar heating panels and small-scale wind turbines on a house-holder scale and also includes photovoltaic electricity panels, ground sourced heat pumps, micro-hydro and domestic scale CHP systems.
Our most significant lobbying success to date has probably been to seek a more liberal planning regime in favour of the installation of domestic scale solar heating panels here in Wales than pertains in England. Until as recently as September last (2008) the position in Wales on the thorny issue of when does a householder need to apply for planning permission to install roof mounted solar panels was not only very confused, with different local planning authorities applying different interpretation to the law; but we also didn’t have the benefit of the purpose made provisions, introduced in England as long before as April the previous year (2007), which made specific exemptions in favour of certain technologies. Now, at last, Ms Davidson (Welsh Environment Minister) has introduced the same legislation in Wales, but a little better in that it permits the installation of roof mounted solar panels (without the need of specific planning permission) even if the property is in a Buildings Conservation Area and the roof is visible from the highway.